HOARDING AND BLACK MARKETING OF ESSENTIAL MEDICINES AND OXYGEN: THE NEW SOCIAL FUNGUS EPIDEMIC - The Daily Guardian
Connect with us

Policy & Politics

HOARDING AND BLACK MARKETING OF ESSENTIAL MEDICINES AND OXYGEN: THE NEW SOCIAL FUNGUS EPIDEMIC

Published

on

Reeling under the second wave of the pandemic, the country unexpectedly encountered the new social fungi drilling a black hole in the society and the economy. Hoarding and black marketing have emerged as a novel social fungus competing with the COVID – 19 virus, going ahead in the race of despicability. When the country was facing institutional lack of medical supplies, some people found peace in extending a helping hand, while others saw it as a breeding ground to profit from the helplessness of the society.

In common parlance, ‘Black marketing’, is an economic activity that occurs outside of Government – sanctioned channels, in a clandestine market, in non – compliance of the set rules. ‘Hoarding’ is the purchase of any commodity in large quantities with an intention to resell it at inflated prices, creating an artificial scarcity in the market with creates an effect of monopoly being exercised by the hoarder who sells the commodity at higher prices. Hoarding and black marketing being interconnected and intertwined to each other are means to maximize profits using unfair and unauthorised commercial routes. 

In the past few weeks, people have witnessed reports of multiple incidences of oxygen cylinders, concentrators and essential drugs being hoarded, sold for exorbitant places. A pertinent question to be raised as a result of the current state of affairs in the country is why are we not able to curb the malpractices of hoarding and black marketing. In this regard, it becomes relevant to analyse the regime in place to deal with the rise of hoarding and black marketing of medical essentials. 

WHAT LEGISLATIVE REGIME DO WE HAVE TO CURB THESE MALPRACTICES?

Black marketing or hoarding have not been defined under Indian law. They have to be understood from a composite reading of various statutes, rules and regulations. The Essential Commodity Act, 1955(“ECA”) gives power to the Central Government to control the production, supply and distribution of commodities that it enlists as essential commodity from time to time, through which price control can be exercised on them, non-compliance of which leads to imprisonment.

In exercise of powers under the ECA, the Drugs (Price Control) Orders, 2013(“DPCO, 2013”) was notified by the Central Government which lays down maximum retail price at which the drug shall be sold to the ultimate consumer. The National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority(“NPPA”), under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India, has been designated as the authority under the DPCO, 2013 to enforce the provisions of the aforesaid Order, regulate the pricing of drugs and ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices. Therefore, selling of any drug in excess of the MRP is contravention of the DPCO, 2013 is punishable under the ECA. In addition to this, the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980 can also be enforced to curb black marketing.

The Central Government had notified that with effect from April 1, 2020, all medical devices used for the diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of any disease or disorder, for the investigation, replacement or modification or support of the anatomy or of a physiological process, supporting or sustaining life shall be covered under the definition of “drugs” under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and would be governed by the provisions of the DPCO, 2013, thereby bringing within its ambit oxygen concentrators and cylinders.

The classification of COVID-19 as an “epidemic disease” under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, allows for punishment under the IPC for disobedience to orders promulgated by public servants. Further, these malpractices also attract offences of cheating, dishonestly inducing delivery of property and criminal conspiracy under the provisions of the IPC.

Despite so many overlapping statutory provisions, in addition to the penal provisions of IPC, these laws have failed to act as a deterrent to curb these malpractices thereby calling for significant amendments in these laws to evolve with the changing times and trends and devise a stricter mechanism to tackle a pandemic.

HOW HAS JUDICIARY ESSAYED ITS ROLE DURING THE PANDEMIC?

In these desperate times of frenzy, the Judiciary all over the country has risen to the occasion providing a ray of hope to the citizens. Courts all over the country, well within their powers, have intervened and taken cognizance of issues of hoarding and black marketing through a catena of orders.

The Delhi High Court acknowledged that shortage of supplies could be attributed to pilferage taking place in the hospitals’ pharmacies by the medical staff. In order to avoid such practices, the Court suggested issuing permits to hospitals on the basis of their opening stock and doses administered daily, in proportion to which the replenishment would take place to keep a check on the hoarding of the medical supplies. The Delhi High Court on April 27, 2021 gave specific directions and held that stocks and sale of covid essential drugs should be recorded and subjected to random audit checks to check black market.

With the regular seizures of the hoarded and blackmarketed medical drugs and equipment, the Delhi High Court vide its order dated April 29, 2021 had directed the concerned District Commissioners to release the seized medicinal drugs and oxygen cylinders immediately to the hospitals without waiting for further orders so that they do not lose their efficacy and become non-usable. The Madhya Pradesh High Court has also directed the Government to distribute seized Remdesivir to the hospitals.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its suo moto order of April 30, 2021, highlighted the selling of several critical drugs, used for COVID-19, at inflated prices or in fake form and directed the Central Government to clamp down on this practice.

The Delhi High Court, on May 02, 2021, directed the state government that none of the equipment, or medicines used in the treatment of COVID-19 disease to be sold above the MRP and held that any person, who is found to be indulged in such activities shall have independent contempt action initiated against him. The Jharkhand High Court has also taken suo moto cognizance of the black marketing of Remdesivir and Favipiravir and directed the state Government to control the black marketing of life saving drugs.

Thus, with the much-appreciated intervention of the Courts across the country, State police and administrative actions to curb hoarding and black marketing were propelled leading to numerous searches and seizures by the police.

WHAT ACTIONS ARE BEING TAKEN TO CONTROL THESE MALPRACTICES?

Police all over the country have ramped up their search and seizure operations to seize oxygen concentrators and other essentials, registering FIRs under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to prevent and deter people from indulging in such malpractices.

The NPPA has been issuing various notifications from time to time for fixing the retail prices of formulations used in drugs under the Drugs Prices Control Order.

The NPPA vide notification dated June 29, 2020 called for the MRP of Pulse Oximeter, Oxygen Concentrator and laid that the MRP of the medical devices cannot be increased more than 10% in a year. To further monitor the prices of these medical devices, vide notification dated May 15, 2021, the importers/ manufactures were directed to submit the MRP details by May 22, 2021 and comply with the 10% increase rule, failing which action may be initiated for violation of DPCO, 2013 read with ECA.

The Central Drug Standards Control Authority on April 10, 2021 directed all the State/ UT Governments to keep strict vigil especially at sensitive places, to take stringent action against hoarding, black marketing and overcharging for Remdesivir by conducting special drive of monitoring and investigation to prevent any such incidence. The NPPA on April 17, 2021 revised the price for Remdesivir to be below Rs. 3500 per vial.

Additionally, the Drugs Control Department vide its circulation dated May 7, 2021 directed all the retailers, whole sellers, distributors not to sell over and above the notified price, MRP and also to refrain from dealing in non – permitted, unauthorised manner and not indulge in their black marketing.

The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Government of India vide its press release dated May 19, 2021 has assured that the Government is monitoring supply of each COVID -19 essential drug by ramping up home production and increasing imports. The availability of these drugs is being monitored by implementing the three-pronged strategy of Supply Chain Management, Demand Side Management and Affordability.

For the equitable distribution and to keep a check, the Government has requested States to put in place a mechanism for its supplies amongst Government and Private Hospitals and health – care agencies, to publicise in the State the ‘Point of Contact’ for Private and Government Hospitals to obtain the drug for this allocation.  Further, the Drug and Pricing Authority have been tasked with coordination with manufacturers to enhance production, get data about current stock, current capacities, projected production and allocation charts based on the production capacity and number of patients has also been prepared state wise to keep the demand – supply in control.

WHAT CHALLENGES STILL REMAIN TO BE CONQUERED?

While the country started reporting a decline in the number of cases, positivity rate and mortality rate, another challenge in the form of Mucormycosis or Black Fungus has hit the country. The Black Fungus has already been declared as an epidemic disease in various states. We are hopeful that we as citizens do not meet with the same fate of the second wave in the times to come.

What is of utmost significance in containing the COVID – 19 pandemic is the execution and implementation of the above directions in reality. Although guidelines have been issued by the Courts and Government to regulate the production, supply, allocation, prices and enforcement agencies have been directed by the Drug Controller General of India to take immediate action on incidence of black marketing, hoarding and overpricing yet the harsh truth and grim reality is not hidden from anyone.

While hospitals were facing dire shortage of medical supplies, India also saw a growing number of politicians and celebrities distributing the same to the general public. Instances such as these do raise pertinent questions as to how they managed to get hold of the same when hospitals themselves were running short on these essential supplies. The Bombay High Court recently raised questions from State as to how these celebrities were able to procure COVID related drugs. In another case, the Delhi High Court, whilst noting that the intentions were good, held that politicians cannot hoard medical supplies and the same should be surrendered to the Directorate General of Health Services while urging the Delhi Police to stand up to the occasion.

WHERE ARE WE HEADING?

The second wave of the pandemic has been riddled with difficulties; firstly, the abysmal shortage of supply of medical essentials; and secondly, the parallel black market of these commodities. While the former paved the way for the genesis of the latter; black markets have acted as a death knell to an already debilitating healthcare system.

With the advent of these social fungi, if such issues are not dealt with utmost priority in the second wave itself, there is a chance of them spilling over in the third wave. This will not only be a burdensome situation for the government but also a troublesome situation for the public at large.

At this time of distress, every individual needs to introspect that where is the collective conscience of the society heading to. The time has come to ponder about this and find answers before the imminent, dreaded third wave hits us and fight back collectively as a country to emerge victorious as humans, above all other acquired titles. 

We collectively fail and we collectively rise!

Assisted by Snehil Singh and Vatsala Parashar

The second wave of the pandemic has been riddled with difficulties; first, the abysmal shortage of supply of medical essentials; and second, the parallel black market of these commodities. While the former paved the way for the genesis of the latter; black markets have acted as a death knell to an already debilitating healthcare system. With the advent of these social fungi, if such issues are not dealt with utmost priority in the second wave itself, there is a chance of them spilling over in the third wave. This will not only be a burdensome situation for the government but also a troublesome situation for the public at large.

The Daily Guardian is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@thedailyguardian) and stay updated with the latest headlines.

For the latest news Download The Daily Guardian App.

Policy & Politics

Nexus of Good: Ubuntu Consortium

Anil Swarup

Published

on

‘I am, because you are’ refers to UBUNTU, a popular African philosophy which places emphasis on being self through others. This philosophy inspired a group of women entrepreneurs to lay the foundation for ‘Ubuntu Consortium of Women Entrepreneurs’, a consortium of Women Entrepreneur associations pan India. It is a non-government organization that was established in 2015 and registered under Societies Act on 8th March 2019.

 Ubuntu Consortium is a brain-child of and led by Ratnaprabha, former Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka. It was founded with a vision to bring together women entrepreneurs from diverse fields and to provide an ecosystem that nurtures and encourages them to grow to their full potential.

As the saying goes, “The ultimate use of power is to empower others”. True to this quote, Ubuntu Consortium provides support to micro- entrepreneurs from Tier 2 & tier 3 cities Mahila Mandal and Women Entrepreneur’s Associations at grassroot level. This is accomplished through their knowledge sharing and skill development workshops, networking, trade exposures, B2B platforms, best practices which aid the women entrepreneurs out there by providing them exposure and encouragement they require to thrive and upscale their businesses to the global level.

Ubuntu Consortium’s constant endeavour to aid the growth and development of Women Entrepreneurs has resulted in Karnataka State Government setting up women entrepreneurs’ parks in 5 districts of Karnataka.

Over a period of time, Ubuntu Consortium has been able to register 22 member Associations across the country even during pandemic. It also facilitated B2B and B2C platform to explore business opportunities. Around 12,000 secondary members are utilizing the services of Ubuntu.  

Ubuntu Consortium has also been in the forefront of providing marketing support to women entrepreneurs. These efforts include leading delegations to international trade fairs at Orlando, Bruno, Czech Republic, Slovenia etc, a B2B and networking platforms in various events where MNCs like Amazon, Flipkart, Asian Paints, Big Basket actively took part with mutual benefits.

Ubuntu’s flagship event, WOW- 2020 Enterprise Connect, facilitated B2B and B2C partnering in selected sectors to explore business opportunities & partnerships, vendor listing & procurement. The event brought together women entrepreneurs with necessary connect across Corporates, Global Organisations, Trade Associations and Government by ensuring their growth and encouraging them to expand their businesses.

When COVID pandemic brought the world to a standstill, Ubuntu stayed connected digitally with 30 women associations and all its members. The idea was to lend support to the women entrepreneurs during these difficult times. As an initial step during the pandemic, ‘Ubuntu help desk’ was setup along with KASSIA (Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association) and the UNDP (United Nations Developmental Programs). This dedicated helpdesk was to address the grievances that arose due to Covid -19.  

Several webinars on digital marketing & how to face the crisis during Covid fallout, along with a session on online marketing supported by UNDP and ACCESS, were organized. The seminars were conducted every month so that the women aren’t at a loss during the pandemic. Training program for women entrepreneurs to handle stress and work life balance organized in association with WICCI life-skills was found to be extremely useful. 

Initiative UNESCAP training program to train Women Entrepreneurs for digital marketing and e-commerce delivered remarkable results by empowering women to onboard their products.

Ubuntu Consortium of Women Entrepreneurs Association was the knowledge partner of the “Covid-19 Udyog Sahayavani Project” launched by United Nations Development Programme, Karnataka, to provide business advisory services and hand holding support to entrepreneurs and MSMEs. A series of webinars were organized on a variety of subjects. These included how to grow your business during COVID-19 and Digital Empowerment of artisans and rural micro-entrepreneurs for sustainable online market linkages. Webinars were also conducted on stress management and grinding technology to enhance productivity in collaboration programs with UNDP and KASSIA. 

Training programs on digital empowerment of artisans and rural micro entrepreneurs for sustainable online market linkages were conducted in 3 batches to connect them globally. Women entrepreneurs from several districts of Karnataka and other states took part in the event.

Virtual Job Fair under the COVID-19 Udyogsahayavani project and in collaboration with United Nations Development Programs (UNDP) and KASSIA witnessed participation of 280 candidates along with registration of 52 companies.

Ubuntu Consortium started the year 2021 with major breakthroughs which included signing of MOU with Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship to develop women entrepreneurship ecosystems.

Xcelerator Programme of Ubuntu in collaboration with GAME and FKCCI galvanized stakeholders in the ecosystem such as Government departments, financial institutions & skills institutions to align with the mission and created a more supportive ecosystem for women entrepreneurship

Ubuntu Consortium also signed MOUs with UNDP, GAME, UNESCAP, WICCI life Skills, Vision Karnataka Foundations and Mera Bills to strengthen the member Associations.

Prebudget meetings with Government of Karnataka enabled bringing in policies and schemes supportive to women entrepreneurs to scale up their business.   

During the event held on 18th November 2021 wherein Head, Inclusive Growth, UNDP participated, interactions were held with a large number of other associations of women entrepreneurs. The idea was to provide a platform to network and seek inspiration from success stories.

Led by visionary Ratna Prabha, Ubuntu Consortium made it happen and presents a wonderful example of Nexus of Good where an initiative to assist women entrepreneurs has been scaled. Enabling women to earn livelihood is perhaps the best way to empower them. This is precisely what Ubuntu Consortium is doing and doing it quite successfully. Even COVID could not stop their march on account of the commitment of Ratna Prabha and her dedicated team. The Consortium now has 19000 members from more than 30 Associations. It is a model that can be replicated and scaled further.

Anil Swarup has served as the head of the Project Monitoring Group, which is currently under the Prime Minister’s Offic. He has also served as Secretary, Ministry of Coal and Secretary, Ministry of School Education.

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

Will turncoats influence outcome in UP?

It is very difficult to predict at this point whether this is the result of political wind or part of a strategy to get ticket.

Vijay Darda

Published

on

In the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the news of turncoat politicians switching their allegiance from one party to another is coming in every day. Since BJP is ruling the state, it is faced with massive defection with the disgruntled leaders leaving the party. Since the BJP is boasting that only lotus will bloom in Uttar Pradesh once again, the question is why are several satraps leaving the party in the state? And how much will these defectors influence the final poll outcome?

As a matter of fact, everything was hunky-dory till just before the announcement of elections. Last week, the BJP core committee met in Delhi after which the news leaked out that the party is planning to deny tickets to more than 100 of its sitting MLAs. Soon after, Swami Prasad Maurya, a minister then, put in his papers. His resignation triggered a wave of resignations in UP. About a dozen MLAs, including three ministers, have resigned so far. Those who have resigned never had an emotional attachment with the RSS. Swami Prasad Maurya was close to Kanshi Ram and later Mayawati for a long time. He had joined BJP to get a ticket and also became a minister, thanks to dominance of caste politics. Now he has joined Samajwadi Party. Others who have crossed over have their own pockets of influence across the state.

The BJP’s loss seems to have worked to the advantage of the SP. Interestingly, Akhilesh Yadav has categorically stated that now he will not take any BJP MLA in the SP. The statement has raised eyebrows in political circles. After all, why did Akhilesh say this? Perhaps he wants to send a message to the voters that the situation is not favourable for the BJP and there is a stream of leaders eager to join the SP. On the other hand, he is also trying to send out a message to the people who joined the SP that they should not ask for tickets. Akhilesh knows that due to the farmers’ agitation, the BJP may suffer in western Uttar Pradesh. The BJP has not been able to keep Chaudhary Charan Singh’s grandson and Ajit Singh’s son Jayant Chaudhary in its fold. Efforts are on to persuade him but it is not easy. SP can derive political advantage from it. This is the reason why SP is focussing on Purvanchal and has roped in smaller parties. In the last election, BJP got 115 out of 160 seats in Purvanchal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath have been making frequent visits to Purvanchal to save the party stronghold. Purvanchal has received a total package of about Rs 95,000 crore so far.

The spate of defections which the BJP is now witnessing should be seen in terms of small parties versus big parties too. The politics of Uttar Pradesh has been witness to the fact that whenever big parties have become strong, small parties have suffered and whenever big parties have taken small parties along, the latters have benefitted immensely; so much so that their leaders later start creating trouble for the leading party itself. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not afraid of the regional parties. He knows that they cannot blight the prospects of the BJP. But if the national party like Congress has even 5 per cent voter base in UP, it can make a difference. That is the reason why he keeps attacking the Congress more.

Now let’s analyse what happened to the defectors in the previous elections. An analysis reveals that from 2014 to 2020, none of the 12 MPs who defected and contested as a candidate of another party were re-elected. Moreover, of the 357 MLAs who contested the Assembly elections after switching allegiance, 170 won again. Overall, 52 per cent of the 433 defected MLAs and MPs won. Let me remind you here that in the last three elections, voters have changed governments in UP. The BSP government was formed in 2007, the SP came to power 2012 and the BJP got power in 2017. This time, Yogiji is saying that he has spent Rs 5 lakh crore directly to empower the people of the state in the last five years. These beneficiaries will vote for BJP. But I can say on the basis of my experience that your works never fetch you votes. People get some freebies because the party in the government feels that if it shows its performance, it will get votes.

Religious polarisation and caste politics matter more in a state like UP. The BJP is considered an expert in religious polarisation. After Ram Janmabhoomi, the Krishna Janmabhoomi issue is being raised. And with saffron-clad Yogiji leading from the front, BJP will get a huge benefit of Hindu votes. Similarly, Muslims are in the SP camp at the moment, but Owaisi is also making every effort to attract Muslims. It can be said that the fight for being number two in wooing Muslim votes is between Owaisi and the Congress.

As for Mayawati, she is not making any move right now. Caught in her own web of political and economic constraints, she is nowhere to be seen. Notwithstanding this, she is the only leader of Dalits. Ahead of the polls, the Dalit and Jat leaders though are rallying together, the rift between the two communities has widened after the Muzaffarnagar incident.

Thus, the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will be quite interesting to watch. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

The author is the chairman, Editorial Board of Lokmat Media and former member of Rajya Sabha.

The phenomenon of turncoat politicians is nothing new to Indian politics. Though we have the anti-defection law in place, the political parties are smart enough to find the escape route. The BJP may be at the receiving end right now but the question is will these turncoats make any difference in the end?

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

TELANGANA WELCOMES TESLA TO SET UP SHOP IN STATE

Published

on

Years after Tesla tried to make an entry into the Indian market, Industry and Commerce Minister of Telangana, KT Rama Rao invited Tesla CEO Elon Musk to set up shop in the state in a tweet.

“Hey Elon, I am the Industry and Commerce Minister of Telangana state in India. Will be happy to partner Tesla in working through the challenges to set shop in India/Telangana,” Rao said in a reply to Musk’s tweet.

“Our state is a champion in sustainability initiatives and a top notch business destination in India,” he added.

This statement has come days after Elon Musk said that Tesla “is still working through a lot of challenges with the government” in India to launch electric cars. Musk wrote in a post giving an update to a query on Twitter on Thursday. Tesla wants to begin selling imported cars in India this year but says taxes in the country are among the highest in the world, said Elon musk in a tweet

With a $39,990 global price tag, Tesla Model 3 may remain as an affordable model in the US but with import duties, it would become unaffordable in the Indian market with an expected price tag of around Rs 60 lakh.

Tesla’s request for tax cuts was first reported in July 2021, when sources told Reuters that the company had written to Indian ministries seeking a big reduction in import duties on electric vehicles. Soon after, Musk tweeted that Tesla was likely to set up a factory in India if successful with imported vehicles.

Another reason for the delay was that India treats clean energy vehicles the same as diesel or petrol vehicles, “which does not seem entirely consistent” with its climate goals, said Elon Musk as a reply to a tweet.

Lat year Rao helped in catalyzing a deal between the Telangana government and Kitex Group to get MD Sabu Jacob to invest Rs 2,406 crore in his state after Kitex pulled out of Kerala, withdrawing Rs 3,500 crore project from the state

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

INNOVATION FOR INDIA, FROM INDIA, SAYS PM

Published

on

PM Modi called for a new mantra, that of innovate for India, innovate from India. This mantra came up to tackle challenges facing the country in the start-up industry. He counted the steps taken by the government in freeing entrepreneurs and innovation from bureaucratic silos. “The start-ups of India are changing the rules of the game. I believe that startups are going to be the backbone of the new India,” he said interacting with the youngsters from the world of startups. “Let us innovate for India, innovate from India”, he added. India, he said, has over 60,000 startups with 42 unicorns.

The government is focusing on three aspects to strengthen innovation, entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem- “Freeing entrepreneurship, innovation from government and bureaucratic silos; setting up institutional mechanisms to promote remodelling and innovation and handholding of youth innovators”, he said.

He also narrated the successes of startups during the recent years. “28,000 patents were granted last year as compared to 4,000 patents in 2013-14. In terms of trademarks, in 2013-14, 70,000 trademarks were registered in comparison with 2.5 Lakh trademarks in 2020-21”, he said.

He added, “India’s ranking on the Global Innovation Index is improving because of the programme on innovation started in the country. India’s ranking in the index in 2015 was 81 and now it is number 46.”

He lauded the efforts of startups in not only bringing innovation but also evolving as major job creators. As startups evolve and grow, the requirements of credential-bearing workforce with suited skill sets also increases. This leads to major job creation opportunities. Therefore PM Modi added that startups can be the ripe matrix for jobs and work opportunities to develop and blossom.

He said that the year 2022 has brought new opportunities and avenues for startups and January 16th will be celebrated as National Startup Day to help seep in the startup culture at the grassroot level in the society. Naming of the National Startup Day came in as big news because with the naming of the day, the entire culture of startups will get a new and rejuvenated boost. As people will be able to discern the day for startups and get to celebrate it the boost to the startups will be multiplied manifold.

Modi said that easier access to funds as well as making self-certification for compliance of nine labour and three environmental laws is also helping promote startups. Innovation and technology based solutions are being encouraged for finding solutions to facing the country.

Some of the famous startup unicorns of India include: UpGrad, CRED, Pharmeasy, PhonePe, OYO Rooms among others.

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

ECONOMIC REVIVAL, EXPANSION ON CARDS: SURVEY

Published

on

There is no doubt that India is already under the grip of a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The country recorded at least 2.68 lakh new cases today, including 6,041 cases of Omicron; taking the total tally to 3.67 crore. Notwithstanding, the third wave spreading like wildfire, a significant percentage of industry leaders are optimistic about India’s economic revival with confidence ruling high amongst Indian businesses, finds a pre-budget survey conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP (DTTILLP).

DTTILLP assembled a total of 163 responses from 10 industries. It was found that more than 75 per cent of respondents were positive about India’s economic revival as economic activities pick up steam with a healthy GDP growth.

The survey further finds that around 91 per cent of respondents believe that the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative (Self-reliant India), coupled with monetary policy actions by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) played an instrumental role in driving back the economy from gloom last year.

“The industry leaders expect the Union Budget FY 2022-23 to build on to this momentum,” DTTILLP said in a release. The Union Budget is scheduled to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1.

On the other hand, 55 per cent of business leaders believe that providing extra tax incentives to long-term investors for infrastructure investment can encourage growth in the country.

While, 45 per cent of respondents believe that the upcoming budget should focus on announcing incentives for increased R&D spending that can boost sectors like automobile, technology, telecommunication, life sciences and capital goods.

Industry leaders, through the Deloitte survey also conveyed some other expectations like enhancing export competitiveness, putting in place competitive import tariffs, and reducing administrative inefficiencies.

“The economy has witnessed a steady recovery during 2021-22”, said, Sanjay Kumar, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, while commenting on the survey findings.

“The Indian economy will continue to witness the growth momentum if the government is able to sustain the efforts on implementation of reforms such as asset monetisation for the infrastructure growth, and PLI schemes,” he further added.

Also, most of the business intellectuals foresee an increased start-up activity fostered by the Centre’s stimulus packages (ECLGS) and policies, which will brighten up the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) culture in the country, resulting in a faster economic revival, Kumar said.

The survey also finds that 59 per cent of respondents believe in the fact that India can be a favourable atmosphere to run a business. With this regard, they touched on three things: promoting digitalisation, simplifying tax regimes and, improving land and labour laws that would also help enhance the EoDB in India.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today announced that January 16 will be observed as ‘Start-up day’ as they are the game changers, whereas small businesses are the spine of country’s economy.

“This partnership (between small businesses and start-ups) can benefit both, the society and the economy, especially women employment will get strengthened because of this,” Modi said as he interacted with start-ups via video conferencing on the occasion of Start-Up India Innovation Week.

The survey conducted by DTTILLP aimed at analysing the industry’s expectations from the upcoming ‘Budget 2022’, where focus will be on EoDB, self-reliance (start-ups) and economic growth.

Continue Reading

Policy & Politics

46 STARTUPS ANNOUNCED WINNERS OF THE NATIONAL STARTUP AWARDS 2021 ALONG WITH 1 INCUBATOR AND 1 ACCELERATOR

Startup India is about realising millions of dreams: Piyush Goyal

Tarun Nangia

Published

on

“Startup India is about realising millions of dreams,” said ShriPiyush Goyal today. Presenting the National Startup Awards 2021, the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, he said the Startup Mission is a symbol of Self-Reliant & Self-Confident India.

“Be it a fisherman’s son from Chennai or a boatman’s daughter from Kashmir, they all want to bring prosperity to their families and to their people, and therefore are thinking bigger and bolder,” said Shri Goyal.

Shri Goyal said, realising the contribution of Startups towards nation-building, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today announced that January 16 will be celebrated as National Start-up Day, to take the Startup culture to the far flung areas of the country.

“Prime Minister Modi is a very firm believer in potential of Startups to contribute significantly to the growth of the nation during the Amritkaal, the next 25 years. He recognises Innovation to be the strongest pillar in making India ‘Aatmanirbhar’,” said Shri Goyal.

Shri Goyal said the PM has focused on three sutras (pillars) to strengthen innovation:

Liberating entrepreneurs from the web of Govt processes & bureaucratic silos, – over 25,000 compliances reduced, decriminalization of laws, etc, but what more can be done to help businesses grow & prosper in an easier environment?

Building institutional mechanisms, – strengthen regulatory processes and self-regulation, &

Handholding young innovators & new enterprises, – mentoring will define Innovation in the future

Shri Goyal called upon the Startups to focus mainly on five areas to make India the No. 1 Startup ecosystem in the world:

1. Develop solutions & content in Indic languages

2. Encourage products & solutions that have a larger social & economic impact

3. Promoting Startups in every district across the country, – Establish ‘Startup Access centers’ in every district

4. Creating Innovation zones at the level of Urban Local Bodies, &

5. Adopt best practices from across the globe & enhance India’s global competitiveness

Quoting PM Modi, Shri Goyal said, “Today India is rapidly moving towards hitting the century of unicorns. I believe the golden era of India’s start-ups is starting now…”

“Government is standing with our innovators and so is the entire country…Let’s Innovate for India, innovate from India!” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, DPIIT Secretary Shri Anurag Jain said the Department will handhold the Startup Award finalists across seven tracks i.e. Investor Connect, Mentorship, Government Connect, Capacity Development, Corporate Connect, Brand Showcase and Unicorn Engagement.

“Our journey together doesn’t end here with just awards, we will walk step by step with you in this journey,” he said.

During the ceremony, the Results of the National StartupAwards (NSA) 2021 were declared. A total of 46 Startupshave been recognized as winners of National Startup Awards 2021 along with 1 incubator and 1 accelerator.

The second edition of the awards invited applications across 15 sectors and 49 sub-sectors. The sectors included Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Drinking Water, Education & Skill Development, Energy, Enterprise Technology, Environment, Fintech, Food Processing, Health & Wellness, Industry 4.0, Security, Space and Transport and Travel. Six special categories were also introduced to recognize exceptional Startups contributing to the good of the society. The 2021 edition of the awards also recognized exceptional Startups innovating solutions to promote Indic languages and to compliment national efforts to combat COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 2177 applications were received from Startupsacross the 49 sub-sectors along with applications from 53 incubators and 6 accelerators for the ecosystem enablerscategories. These applicants included 863 Women-led, 414 innovations for combatting COVID-19 and 253 Startupsworking in rural areas.

All applicants were evaluated against six broad parameters namely Innovation, Scalability, Economic Impact, Social Impact, Environmental Impact, and Inclusiveness and Diversity.

After three rounds of detailed evaluation, 175 Startups were selected for presentation before the jury which made presentations before the 16 specialist jury panels, which comprised of domain experts from industry, investors and government.

The recognised entities will benefit from such recognition, not only in terms of being able to attract more business, financing, partnerships and talent, but also enable them to serve as role models for other entities, and to inspire them to be purposeful and responsible about their socio-economic impact.

53 applications were received from incubators and 6 applications were received from Accelerators. Select incubators and accelerators were selected after three rounds of evaluation for presentation before Jury Panel which gave presentations before the Jury.

The felicitation ceremony was accompanied by the release of an e-Report on National Startup Awards 2021 highlighting the year-round handholding support provided to the finalists of first edition of National Startup Awards and the journey of NSA 2021.

The ‘Blockchain-enabled verification for DPIIT tax incentive certificates’, ‘Digilocker enabled DPIIT Startup recognition certificate’ and second edition of the ‘Startup Champions’ programme on Doordarshan were also launched during the event.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) conceived the National Startup Awards to recognize and reward outstanding Startups and ecosystem enablers that are building innovative products or solutions and scalable enterprises, with high potential of employment generation or wealth creation, demonstrating measurable social impact. The measure of success is not only the financial gains for the investors, but also the contribution to social good.

Continue Reading

Trending